Rain becoming a problem for Wildcats baseball and softball

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Rain becoming a problem for Wildcats baseball and softball

Rain flooded the tarp on the softball field after a thunderstorm. Photo credit: Brandon Downs

Rain flooded the tarp on the softball field after a thunderstorm. Photo credit: Brandon Downs

Rain flooded the tarp on the softball field after a thunderstorm. Photo credit: Brandon Downs

Rain flooded the tarp on the softball field after a thunderstorm. Photo credit: Brandon Downs

Brandon Downs

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The Wildcats baseball and softball teams have not been able to play and practice how they would like due to this year’s high amount of rain.

The softball team has had four games postponed and six games canceled this season because of rain. That’s a total of 10 games the softball team has to either play later or will not be able to make up.

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Rain flooded the tarp on the softball field after a thunderstorm. Photo credit: Brandon Downs

In early-February the softball team traveled to Las Vegas for the MSUB Desert Stinger Classic in which the Wildcats sat out two games.

“It is really upsetting that the games can not be made up because it could make a big difference in our season,” Wendy Cardinali, infielder for the softball team, said.

Every game is important for the Wildcats softball team as they want to get the highest seed for the California Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament in May.

The average amount of conference softball games per team is 13.5 games. The Wildcats currently are above the average with 16 games played (13-3) and sit at the top of the standings.

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The Wildcats softball team warms up under cloudy skies. Photo credit: Ricardo Tovar

The rain is not only a Northern Californian problem. The Wildcats baseball and softball teams traveled south to Cal State San Marcos on March 1, expecting to play two doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday. The teams traveled back to Chico after only playing Friday’s doubleheader because Saturday’s doubleheaders had to be canceled.

The baseball team’s schedule has also been constantly changing all year to be able to squeeze games in. Doubleheaders have been fit in on days available, like Mondays.

The Wildcats baseball team had games pushed back from the beginning of weekends to Mondays. That is an extra day these student-athletes have to be away from school. If they are on the road they have to wait around for games that might not take place.

Most recently, the Wildcats baseball team traveled to Cal State East Bay with game one of the doubleheader on Sunday getting suspended in the seventh inning. The teams completed three games, one of the games being the game suspended in the seventh inning Monday as the Wildcats won all three games within six hours.

In a series in Chico against Cal State Monterey Bay, the teams completed a doubleheader on Friday, March 1. The series was set to finish on Sunday but the teams had to squeeze a doubleheader in on Monday, March 4 because it rained over the weekend.

“We’ve been playing doubleheaders all year and those are tough to, you know, win two, and sometimes when you lose the first one it’s tough to win the second one,” baseball head coach Dave Taylor said.

The baseball team traveled to San Francisco in late-February planning for a four-game series starting on Friday. The team was expecting one game Friday, another one on Saturday and a doubleheader on Sunday.

The team left San Francisco without playing a game in San Francisco. Instead, Chico State had to play San Francisco State at Nettleton Stadium for a doubleheader on a Sunday. The Wildcats dropped both games.

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Puddles sit on top of the baseball tarp and surround the field after a rainstorm in Chico at Nettleton Stadium. Photo credit: Brandon Downs

The baseball team has played 11 conference games (5-6) and sit near the bottom of the standings. But their inability to play games has affected them the most in the conference. Besides San Francisco State, the Wildcats have played the least amount of games in the conference with the CCAA conference average being at 13.6 games per team.

“On rainy days we go to this place called the (Chico) Bullpen,” Kyle Pineda, an outfielder for the baseball team, said. “A lot of the guys, you know, we do individual work. We work very hard. The coaches will pitch to us and then we will do ground balls and all that extra stuff just to get better.”

The Chico Bullpen is an indoor facility that has batting cages and a bullpen for the team to use. The Bullpen limits what the team can do at practice.

“I mean it hasn’t affected other teams as much as I think it’s affected us,” coach Taylor said.

The rain has made it hard for the teams to play. Coach Taylor said there have been times when the team was not ready for games because of the rain. He looks forward to when the team can get into a consistent four-game routine.

Brandon Downs can be reached at [email protected] or @downsbrandon2 on Twitter.

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